Mary Ann Faremouth

By Mary Ann Faremouth

Writing as a Refuge In Times of Challenge

Writing as a Refuge In Times of Challenge 150 150 Mary Ann Faremouth

In reflecting on the Fifth Step of the Faremouth Method – Be A Hunter, in these challenging times with so much uncertainty and change going on in the world, I thought back to famous people who have used writing as a creative outlet to cope with adversity.  Max Regan, my writing teacher and coach, recently mentioned in a class I was taking, how “fiction writing can be a refuge.”  That caused me to recall a famous speech given at Harvard by J.K. Rowling who talked about how she had worked with “Amnesty International” and witnessed much suffering of the human spirit and how that experience pushed her to use writing as her refuge. Out of her experience, the famous “Harry Potter” series was born.

 

During a Pandemic in the 1800’s, Shakespeare wrote his famous play, “King Lear,” considered one of his best pieces of work.  I know for me, personally, during a time of great personal loss and grief, writing was for sure my refuge and allowed me to write my first book, Revolutionary Recruiting, which has helped many people find jobs in challenging times and, to date, has won many awards.  I’m sure many women will recall when, as young girls, they were encouraged to keep diaries and journals as a way of expressing their feelings and emotions.  Young men also kept journals as they became a little older and into adulthood as a way of expressing their own creative thoughts.  Just like so many individuals in history who had to hunt for ways to express themselves and to find an outlet enabling them to cope, my own personal way of coping has been through writing which has brought much grounding and many rewards in my life.

 

I recently spoke with Alan Bourgeois, Founder and Executive Director of Authors Marketing Guild (AMG), a non-profit and international organization dedicated to help writers all over the world expand and refine the craft of writing.  Several years ago, I met Alan for the first time at a writer’s conference at Rice University in Houston where he spoke about the many services his organization provides to and for writers and I immediately joined the organization.  Alan and his organization got my attention and, I am proud to say, has greatly helped me in my writing endeavors.

 

In August 2011, B Alan Bourgeois, who is an author and was a publisher at the time, realized the value and the struggle of marketing books. Through the process to better understand the dynamics of marketing books, he created the Texas Association of Authors (TxAuthors). His one goal has remained the same through the growth of the organization: Helping authors to better learn how to market and sell their books.

 

AMG is dedicated to provide service and support to authors through their gatherings in person and virtually, radio show interviews, and other related programs. They are the only organization that continues to interact with other national and international programs to make sure author members get the support they need.

 

Since 2016, authors have gathered to celebrate being a published author and to learn from professionals how to better market and sell themselves. During this weekend of education, support, and celebration, authors not only receive valuable tips and tools, but they become part of an elite group of authors who have become Certified in Marketing. AME is the only educational event that offers this type of certification.

 

While AMG has held annual conferences since 2016, 2020 was the first annual conference on a Zoom platform which proved to be quite successful.  Presenters ranged from professional writers in various genres to publishers, distributors, and marketers, etc., to provide valuable information to those in the process of getting their work out into the world.  I had the distinct honor of participating in the event and met so many wonderful people, where I was able to learn so many valuable tips on how to navigate through this process with my own work.

 

These events are held every year in July in various locations.  The next event will be July 24-26, 2021, scheduled to be held in Granbury, Texas.  Speakers and presenters are carefully selected to address and maximize current topics for all genres of writing and the entire marketing aspect from publishing and beyond. There is an art to the business side of writing and AMG stands out as the foremost authority in this process under the direction of Alan Bourgeois. AMG provides a strong sense of community to help authors through the birth process of their writing to the latest available information in marketing and learning to push it to the maximum potential.  In the past, the business side was done by large publishing houses. Now, the world of independent publishing is exploding and more people are writing as AMG fine-tunes this business aspect for independent publishing, making it more accessible and arming writers with more knowledge.

 

AMG is a support and content-rich organization to help writers throughout their writing Journey.  Instead of feeling alone and not knowing where to start, AMG offers support, with their support through conferences, contests, and community, there is help in whatever capacity you need.  They have also created two nonprofits that support reading and writing programs for all ages: Drop Everything And Read (DEAR) Texas/Indie and the Texas Authors Institute of History.  With these nonprofits and other programs, they reach to librarians, schools, and communities around the world.

 

Another strong aspect of support for writers, AMG presents the Indie Beacon Show which airs every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 7 PM. Their shows are uploaded to all major podcast systems including iHeart, iTunes, and other systems, as well as aired on Amazon TV and YouTube. For all shows, please visit their channel here: http://IBS.AuthorsMarketingGuild.com

 

The Indie Beacon Show has grown over the years, starting as a test program in 2015 as part of the Wimberley Book Festival, with the popularity growing over time and became the Indie Beacon Show. On May 1st, 2019, it joined both Amazon TV and Roku as a Vcast show and grew its podcast outreach on all major channels.

 

More people are writing today as they look for ways to cope with the challenging times we are currently facing.  Writers are able to reflect the outer world they experience as they channel these challenges internally.  Throughout history, people have used various forms of creativity to express what they feel on the inside. Writing is one of the primary ways of being able to heal our emotional responses to the outer world by connecting our outer experiences to our inner emotions.

 

Personally for me, I have found that being a part of this organization has allowed me, as an author, to participate in contests and given me the confidence and even pushed me to write different genres in the craft of writing. It all starts with each of us becoming our own hunter, looking for ways to cope with uncomfortable situations.

 

I encourage you to look into the benefits of writing during these challenging times and investigate the benefits that AMG offers and its many programs which may enhance your own personal development and growth.